Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management is boosting education and training to tackle a rise in demand for alternative investments.

Deutsche, in partnership with CAIA, will require its employees in the firm’s retail distribution arm to enroll in CAIA's Fundamentals of Alternative Investment Certification Program. A burgeoning demand for alternatives led CAIA to team up with IMCA to create the program earlier this year. CAIA has long offered advanced certification programs on alternative investments to its 6,700 members.

"It's a significant partnership and a significant contribution that we're making in the investment and training of our people," explains Robert Kendall, head of retail distribution in the Americas for Deutsche. "It's an important undertaking for our people. And it's important for the advisors and investors we're working with."

Deutsche executives say that the 20-hour training program will meet an increasing need for greater expertise in alternative investments. Such types of investments have grown in popularity in recent years, generating a plethora of products. For example, the number of alternative investment mutual funds tracked by Morningstar has roughly doubled since 2008. At the same time, net assets in alternatives has more than tripled.

The program covers a range of topics including portfolio construction, risk management, private equity investments and commodities. It is taught by CAIA's experts in alternative investment education.

Deutsche’s U.S. employees will start the program in late June. Advisors will attend 10 classroom sessions, and complete the rest online at their own pace by yearend. 

The firm has been a major player in the alternatives market for more than a decade. Deutsche offers managed account platforms worldwide with more than $10 billion in assets across more than 200 hedge funds.

William Kelly, CEO for CAIA, says the partnership with Deutsche is a critical next step in further promoting alternative investments education. "They are a very important first, and we are very pleased to have a partner in Deutsche which has a global brand and reach," notes Kelly.

He adds, "In both the US and globally we expect to have more of this type of relationship with institutions who are committed to education."

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